I'm making a end-table topper out of 1 3/8" butcher block for over the top of a subwoofer. I posted a question about how to route out the center of a board. It was determined that although it is possible to route out the interior of the massive board, attaching an edge board would be the path of least resistance to create the end table top.

Given the scope of my prior question, I decided to open a new one.

Which is the standard practice of attaching the edge board? Which might be the most cohesive with butcher block? Would glue or nails or both be better? If nails and/or glue, what kinds?

edge board attachment

  • Are you specifically looking for a butcher block look in the end? Will this be stained or painted at all? There are a lot of options, and it really boils down to preference. Nov 16, 2016 at 20:21
  • yeah, I'll be staining it a walnut color. I'm going to use this lumber: menards.com/main/building-materials/lumber-boards/…
    – tjcinnamon
    Nov 16, 2016 at 20:22
  • 1
    Note that as soon as you connect the end boards whose grain is perpendicular to your top you must address differential wood movement and allow for different movement rates. Check out this question for a discussion: woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/908/…
    – Ashlar
    Nov 16, 2016 at 21:58
  • Ashlar is correct, especially as the piece gets larger. At a small scale I would not be too concerned in this case. It would help to know the size of this top. There are other ways of attaching an apron that do allow for wood movement if it comes to that. Nov 17, 2016 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


I would create an apron frame attached to the bottom of the butcher block. This way you can maintain the solid butcher block look, and it will greatly simplify the construction.

Offsetting the apron frame prevents the difficulty of having to line up with the top, as well as opening up the possibility of using a different material altogether.

If you are able to, mitering the corners will provide the best look overall. From here you could simply glue and nail these pieces to the top. enter image description here

  • 1
    Any wood glue will do, but Titebond is generally the best. For indoor use, Titebond I is perfect. Nov 16, 2016 at 21:08
  • 2
    WOW! The amount of clever tricks in woodworking and carpentry continues to amaze!
    – tjcinnamon
    Nov 16, 2016 at 21:20
  • 1
    @Ljk2000 I know your desire is to help but you need to learn about a subject before you confidently make statements about it dude. 1) It's practically impossible to over clamp in the home woodshop. 2) It is only by clamping hard that you get the best glue joints. So there's essentially no reason for us to warn about it, in practice it almost cannot happen. Also, bonus info in case you didn't know, there's no strength advantage to Titebond II over Titebond I.
    – Graphus
    Nov 17, 2016 at 11:12
  • 2
    @JacobEdmond "I was taught by some very experienced woodworkers how not to overtighten my clamps," Sorry but they were wrong too, or at least they hadn't updated their advice for the era of modern glues. This is still extremely common advice. But it is still wrong. It is outdated, coming from the days of hide glue, which does not need high clamp pressures to provide good bond strength (both because of its extraordinary strength and because it shrinks as it dries). But modern glues don't work that way. This will run too long if I go into further detail so I'll have to leave it at that.
    – Graphus
    Nov 17, 2016 at 12:28
  • 1
    @Graphus My apologies but I was told that I am not supposed to over tighten the joint. But if it makes no difference then I will note that. And I said titebond II because I think it will last longer for the guy, not saying type I will not last.
    – Ljk2000
    Nov 17, 2016 at 12:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.